Psychological consequences of failing to attribute negative outcomes to discrimination

Gretchen B. Sechrist, Janet K. Swim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The present research examines the psychological consequences of not making attributions to discrimination in response to negative feedback. In two studies, 100 and 80, respectively, female undergraduates at large US research universities were exposed to conditions that simulated three distinct reasons for not making an attribution to discrimination which parallel three theoretical information processing stages. The psychological consequences examined included changes in activation of and explicit thoughts about sexism, affective state, excuses for poor performances, and negative attitudes toward the perpetrator. Results illustrated that there are psychological consequences of failing to make an attribution to discrimination, and that the three ways to fail to make an attribution to discrimination are distinct in that each resulted in unique consequences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-38
Number of pages18
JournalSex Roles
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jul 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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